No 1516 17th July 2017
Foulest yet Western Nazi war-crime savageries completely flattening Mosul in Iraq (and Raqqa too) have nothing to do with “stopping terrorist evil” but are part of the same deliberate war drive begun with bombing Serbia, Afghanistan, the WMD Big Lie Iraq War destruction in 2003 and continuing ever since. This is unrolling of World War III, crisis-wracked imperialism’s only way out of Slump Catastrophe. Bizarre and brutal jihadism is a response to endless oppression and colonialist exploitation tyranny, an attempt to fight back and multiplied a thousand fold by the blitzkrieging and torture imposed, and now used as an excuse for the destruction caused and generated by capitalism itself. Fake-“left” capitulation to the “condemn all terrorism” mantra – using ever more convoluted anti-Marxist sophistry – plays into the hands of the imperialist warmongering and helps feed the chauvinist “kill them all” atmosphere needed by this degenerate and historically bankrupt profit system. Religious barminess is no answer either – the world needs to polemically rebuild Leninist revolutionary perspectives
The latest barbaric Western blitzkrieg bloodbath in Iraq, makes even clearer the philosophical bankruptcy of all shades of fake-“left” and their universal condemnations of “terror atrocities”.
These continued denunciations of “jihadism” as a new kind of “reaction” simply reinforce imperialist propaganda stampeding public opinion behind endless warmongering, now razing the entire city of Mosul.
The drive to war has nothing to do with the sick Goebbels pretence that “freedom and democracy” is “saving the world from terrorist evil”.
What “freedom” for example is being brought by the total destruction of Yemen by the primitive feudal Islamic regime in Saudi Arabia (managed and supplied by cynical British arms sales and military advice), killing thousands and driving millions into famine???
Or the US-instigated Saudi and Gulf Sheikh war threats against Qatar to stop its support for Palestinian resistance against the vile Zionist occupation, and force shutdown of the “troublesome” Al-Jazeera TV station – making a mockery of Western “free speech” pretences??
Or the blitzing of the working class in eastern Ukraine by the Western-stunt coup-installed swastika-toting murderous Kiev “government”?
It has everything to do with a capitalist system facing catastrophic breakdown.
The 2008 global credit failure demonstrated once and for all that Marx’s economic science was correct.
Capitalism is a system of non-stop crisis and its greed ridden private profits system will always bring it to Slump ridden collapse.
Insane Quantitative Easing credit creation has temporarily patched things up (for the rich only, while grinding austerity is imposed on the poor at home and abroad) but has only added to the intractable contradictions.
Throwing effectively valueless money into the system just multiplies the problems.
Disaster will return at any time, worse than ever.
As the bitterness and leaderless floundering at the Hamburg G20 conference of rich nations demonstrated, the entire antagonistic system is one of cutthroat trade war, now rapidly deepening.
Even the usual lying diplomatic platitudes about “cooperation and international trade” proved impossible to agree; protectionism and aggression is now officially the order of the day.
It is heading for open inter-imperialist conflict.
The only crisis “solution” monopoly capitalism has ever had, is outright world war to divert attention and destroy vast amounts of “surplus” capital clogging the system.
It is under way.
The ludicrous and vicious “war on terror” has been the warm-up, using the pretence of “stopping rogue states” and “jihadist terrorists” etc to get the world used to endless blitzing and fascist savagery, particularly in the Middle East, and repression at home, through whipped-up scapegoating hatreds and reactionary nationalism (along with Brexit, “Make America great again” etc).
Washington, already aware of the coming crisis, aimed to get in first with the Afghan and Iraq wars demonstrating “shock and awe” ruthlessness against allcomers, intimidating Third World rebellion and major capitalist rivals alike, to re-assert its “topdog” status.
But its non-stop fascist depravity has backfired badly.
Far from suppressing rebellion and hatred, and re-establishing US-imperialist neocolonial domination it has driven tens, if not hundreds of thousands of the masses in the Third World into the ranks of anti-imperialist struggle with tens, if not hundreds, of millions cheering them on at every blow they strike against the West.
For all the often self-defeating confusions and backwardness of fanatical sectarian religiosity (deliberately inflamed by Western manipulation), its eruption has hugely compounded the difficulties facing a ruling class already at its wits end over its crisis Catastrophe as it unravels relentlessly into the greatest Slump collapse in history.
Of course jihadism is not Marxist revolution, and there is a long way to go in overcoming the primitiveness and sometimes reactionary ideas which sustain the suicidal terror methods, to focus on the real problem in the world, the need for a revolutionary end to the capitalist system.
But to condemn this great wave of discontent and anti-imperialist anti-Zionist hatred as just “reaction” is to capitulate to the imperialist war drive and play into the hands of increasing repression and censorship domestically.
The fake-“left” universally has evaded and avoided explaining the jihadist and terrorist revolt, far beyond Iraq and Syria, but right across the world, as part of nascent Third World anti-imperialist struggle.
But the ever more convoluted sophistries pouring out from the “lefts” to declare this giant and growing upheaval to be “reactionary” or “all run by the CIA and the Pentagon” are now glaringly exposed for the capitulation and treachery they are by the filthy depravity imposed on Mosul.
If constantly growing turmoil is deemed “reactionary” and “unacceptably brutal” – as assorted Trot groups from the Socialist Workers Party to the “intellectual” Weekly Worker CPGB-ML assert – then all the r-r-revolutionary declarations in the world against “imperialist aggression” and “No to War” demands are rendered impotent.
If jihadism is a new kind of “reactionariness” then logically it is a third force in the world (a completely non-Marxist notion since there are only two significant classes in the modern world) which has to be defeated, and it becomes so much pointless humbug and hypocrisy to object its suppression.
The rug is pulled out from their arguments against the monstrous lying imperialist pretence justifying its non-stop war blitzing as just “policing the world” and “eradicating evil”.
And if the alternative line is true, that the Islamic State and other rebels are actually “headbanging mercenaries for the West”, as the Stalinist revisionists like Lalkar/Proletarian ludicrously declare, then how come imperialism is mounting one of the most barbaric fascist bloodbath onslaughts in recent history, using its own forces, to destroy its own “instrument”????
Or how come this revolt is breaking out in multiple places, nearly always against Western repression and tyranny (Philippines, Egypt, Mali, Somalia/Kenya, and above all Palestine) – are these “headbanging reactionaries" too??
The savagery of the imperialist Mosul destruction holes both sophistries beneath the waterline.
This stinking Nazi onslaught, razing an entire city to the ground in a welter of high-tech indiscriminate bombing, mass civilian “collateral damage”, torture, summary executions, prisoner parade humiliations (in direct contravention of the basic “rule of law” Geneva convention standards, allegedly and lyingly being “fought for” by “democratic, free world” forces) is on a scale of depravity way beyond any terror atrocity claimed by the jihadists, or pinned on them by a compliant capitalist media (often lyingly, as in the claim already reported as “fact”, that they blew up their own central mosque, an obvious propaganda nonsense when it was the heart of their “Caliphate” ambitions, and anyway denied by the ISIS which usually boasts about its destructions.)
The foulest of atrocities have been carried out by, or under the direction and training of, thousands of US Special Forces, British military, French and other imperialist ground troops, as well as by the army of the Iraqi Baghdad government, a total stooge regime installed and maintained by America imperialism, (whose embassy selected and approved the new government head Haider al-Abadi after its previous choice, Nouri al-Maliki had to be removed because of rampant capitalist corruption and inefficiency); by tens of thousands of Sunni-hating vengeful sectarian Shia militias, armed and supplied with Western aid; and by other local forces such as the Kurdish peshmerga, controlled and operated by local petty bourgeois governments, who are also total stooges for US imperialism.
And all this has been backed up by massive US, British and French high-tech air bombing, droning, missiles and artillery onslaught, creating total destruction (not pretend as the bizarre Stalinist “theory” asserts).
The sheer scope and horrifying butchery of this devastation over nine months of coordinated blitzkrieg has deliberately been largely kept out of the bourgeois press coverage (despite the odd token story buried in the foreign news pages or back end of Channel Four news) by the news manipulation of the international intelligence agencies.
But even as the fascist triumphalism of the imperialist “victory” was cheered on by the nazi-minded US president Donald Trump and the likes of newly elected anti-working class populist French president Emmanuel Macron (taking up the bourgeois imperialist chauvinism baton from disgusting joke “socialist” François Hollande, who repeatedly sent the country’s main aircraft carrier to the Gulf to blitz the “natives”) – some of the more gruesome details have emerged.
It is damning, even allowing for the usual pro-imperialist bias and heavy punch-pulling of the “non-governmental agencies”:
Amnesty International said on Tuesday it had identified a pattern of attacks by Iraqi forces and the US-led military coalition backing them in the battle for Mosul that violated international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes.
The rights group said in a report that the Islamic State militant group had flagrantly violated that same law by deliberately putting civilians in harm’s way to shield their fighters and impede the advance of Iraqi and coalition forces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in Mosul on Monday, three years after Islamic State seized the city and made it the stronghold of a “caliphate” they said would take over the world.
A 100,000-strong alliance of Iraqi government units, Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Shia militias had launched the offensive in October, with key air and ground support from the international coalition.
Much of Mosul has been destroyed in grinding street-to-street fighting, thousands of civilians have been killed and nearly a million people fled their homes, according to the United Nations.
Amnesty said Iraqi forces and the coalition carried out a series of unlawful attacks in west Mosul since January, relying heavily on Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs), explosive weapons with crude targeting capabilities that wreaked havoc in densely populated areas.
“Even in attacks that seem to have struck their intended military target, the use of unsuitable weapons or failure to take other necessary precautions resulted in needless loss of civilian lives and in some cases appears to have constituted disproportionate attacks,” the report said.
Neither the Iraqi defence ministry nor coalition officials were immediately available to comment on the Amnesty report.
Amnesty also slammed Islamic State for a host of crimes that have been documented previously.
The militants rounded up residents in contested villages and neighbourhoods and forced them to move into conflict zones in west Mosul for use as human shields, it said. As clashes neared, they trapped the civilians inside houses without access to food or medical care, it said.
The militants also fought and hid among the population.
Islamic State summarily killed hundreds, if not thousands, of men, women and children who attempted to flee and hanged their bodies in public areas, according to the report.
Amnesty acknowledged the challenges of protecting civilians given the militants’ tactics, but still blamed Iraqi authorities and the coalition for failing to take feasible precautions to protect civilians from air strikes. It said leaflet drops warning of attacks had been virtually useless because Islamic State heavily restricted civilian movement.
Neither the government nor the coalition keep track of civilian deaths. Amnesty said the toll just in west Mosul from attacks launched by pro-government forces was very likely higher than the 3,706 estimated by monitoring group Airwars.
“The true death toll of the west Mosul battle may never be known,” it said.
Human rights groups have criticised the use of the white phosphorus chemical by US-led coalition troops in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
New Zealand Brigadier General Hugh McAslan admitted the potentially lethal substance had been used as they attempted to free civilians trapped in neighbourhoods controlled by Isis.
He said that around 28,000 civilians have travelled out of Isis strongholds in the city over the last few days.
Iraqi troops assisted by US-led coalition forces were in control of 90 per cent of the western area of Mosul, he added. But Isis is still holding out and using people as human shields, according to the United Nations.
However, the deployment of the chemical was criticised by Human Rights Watch.
“No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch. “US-led forces should take all feasible precautions to minimise civilian harm when using white phosphorus in Iraq and Syria.”
In early June, an internet café in Raqqa was hit by white phosphorus, killing approximately 20 people, a local resident told The New York Times.
Use of white phosphorus has been called into question, as it puts civilians in danger, but Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) claimed on 4 June that it was used to create a smoke screen.
A US-led coalition statement said: “While protecting civilians fleeing from the Jamouri Hospital the Coalition used smoke and precision munitions to suppress the enemy and provide cover for fleeing civilians.
White phosphorus is known by the military as WP or Willie Pete and used to create a smokescreen for hiding troop movements. It can also be utilised to target enemy positions.
But if the chemical lands on skin, it can cause “horrific injuries, burning deep into the muscle and bone,” according to Amnesty International.
If particles of ignited white phosphorus land on a person’s body, they can continue to burn through flesh to the bone. Toxic phosphoric acid can also be released into wounds, risking phosphorus poisoning. Inhaling the smoke can cause damage to the heart, liver and kidneys.
Under military law, it is not illegal for the military to use white phosphorus, although its use in populated areas is prohibited by international legislation.
The Iraqi government has said it is investigating a video seemingly showing troops killing suspected Islamic State militants detained in the Mosul area.
In the footage, men wearing uniform throw an unarmed man over a cliff. They then shoot his motionless body.
An interior ministry spokesman said that if the video was authentic those responsible must be brought to justice.
Human Rights Watch said it had verified the location with satellite imagery.
The US-based group added that the video was one of four featuring alleged abuses
Human rights groups say they have received numerous witness reports of torture and executions in Mosul.
Belkis Wille, senior Iraq researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the BBC: “In the final weeks of the battle for west Mosul, the pervasive attitude..[is]. a collapse of adherences to the laws of war.”
Numerous witnesses had reported not only a significant increase in the torture and extrajudicial killing of IS suspects by armed forces, but also a feeling among personnel that they no longer needed to conceal such actions, she said.
“Congratulations from Baghdad on the victory, only further foster the feeling of impunity among armed forces in Mosul.”
At the end of June, Human Rights Watch published a report detailing allegations from four witnesses, who said they had seen Iraqi forces beat unarmed men and boys fleeing the fighting in Mosul and also obtained information about Iraqi forces killing unarmed men.
One witness said that he had seen two Counter-Terrorism Service personnel take down the corpse of a suspected IS militant that had been strung up to an electrical pole, and stone the body before taking a few photos of each other posing with it. Later, he added, a CTS fighter showed him a video of a detainee being shot dead.
The Swedish newspaper Expressen also cited an Iraqi federal police officer as saying that he had decapitated at least 50 men with knives and beaten others. The article said the officer had backed up the claims with photos and videos.
Human Rights Watch has also said that Iraqi forces are detaining and holding thousands of men and boys in inhumane conditions without charge, under the guise of screening them for IS-affiliation.
On Thursday, the group reported that at least 170 families of alleged IS members had been sent to a closed camp in Bartella, east of Mosul, for “psychological and ideological rehabilitation”.
Iraqi forces are flushing the last ISIS fighters out of hiding in Mosul a day after the city was declared liberated from the terror group.
Half-naked fighters were paraded through the streets while others were bundled out of an armoured vehicle.
Meanwhile airstrikes pounded parts of the Old City amid fears that fighters are waiting in ambush and have left behind explosive traps.
More than 2,000 ISIS fighters were killed in Mosul while many more fled, but government forces believe some are still hiding in the Old City.
Government forces have been rounding up men they accuse of being part of ISIS. Detainees are brought to a screening centre where they are questioned, before being moved into detention.
It has taken eight months for Iraqi forces to secure Mosul, including five months fighting for control of the Old City, where these men were captured.
US Commanders said fighting in the Old City was the most intense urban combat seen since the Second World War. Bombs continued to be dropped on Mosul’s Old City on Tuesday, despite victory having been declared against ISIS.
As the battle drew to a close, Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, the top U.S. Commander in Iraq, warned the government must now ensure that ‘ISIS 2.0’ does not rise from the ashes of the city.
Any argument that this grotesque city-destruction depravity is “deserved” or “understandable” because of the “methods used by the jihadists” is to subscribe to the arguments of fascist and colonialist collective punishment through the centuries, always declaring its tyranny and oppression to be “necessary” because of the inevitably primitive barbarity of the resistance.
It further shows up the great lying pretence of the “civilised West” that its “interventions” are all about bringing “democracy and the rule of law” and suppressing the crudeness and violence of the revolt against it, or of “dictators and totalitarians”.
An elaborate structure of alleged international standards, treaty obligations, principles, tribunals, “war crime” courts, and the like, postures mightily to pretend that fairness and justice prevail, – a gross fraud which anyway glaringly ignores the endless colonialist barbarities and imperialist wars inflicted on the world in both past and modern times, with tens of millions of victims killed, tortured and terrorised from the vile Zionist landtheft of Palestine and non-stop genocidal ethnic cleansing and oppression of the seven million rightful owners, to wars in Vietnam, North Korea, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Yemen etc and mainly unreported horrors in the Congo and other African nations, multiple massacres in Latin America, the infamous 1965 Indonesian genocide and multiple further examples – while “prosecuting” assorted demonised minor “dictators”, usually those who have challenged or fought back against imperialist domination in some way, like the revisionist nationalist Serbs or a stream of African rebels like Charles Taylor.
Even currently, as George Bush and Tony Blair not only walk around entirely free despite the grotesque criminality of their unleashing of the devastating Iraq war in the first place on the cynically worked-up big lie WMD pretext, but receive massive wealth and continuing privileges, ever more revelations pour out about the routine fascist methods of the Western forces, a long way from “legal and principled”:
“Credible” evidence indicates that Special Air Service troops executed unarmed civilians during night raids in Afghanistan and doctored after-action reports to shift blame onto their Afghan partners, the Times claims, citing military and defense sources.
The series of killings allegedly took place during the final stages of Britain’s involvement in the Afghan war, the Times reported, citing a major Royal Military Police (RMP) investigation codenamed ‘Operation Northmoor’. Part of the RMP inquiry is said to have focused on a specific SAS squadron dubbed a “rogue” unit.
Sources with detailed knowledge concerning the investigation said there is “strong evidence” that unarmed Afghan civilians suspected of being Taliban militants were executed during night raids on their homes.
Conducting Night raids to apprehend suspected insurgents was a key tactic for British and other Western forces in Afghanistan. The suspects would then be sent to detention centers in an attempt to undermine the leadership of the Taliban.
Some British army officers told the Times they believed the SAS’ night operations were often based on unreliable intelligence. Special Forces operatives were also inclined to kill rather than capture suspects, contrary to the rules of engagement.
In many cases, SAS soldiers allegedly tried to create the false impression that their victims were high-ranked Taliban warlords in order to cover up the reported killings. Members of the “rogue unit” routinely carried Russian-made Makarov pistols commonly used by top Taliban or Al-Qaeda leaders so that they could photograph them alongside the bodies of their alleged victims, according to the Times.
The ‘kill pistol’ was intended to make it look like the slain subject had posed a threat to SAS soldiers. An officer told the newspaper that a friend in another Special Forces unit had been offered such a “kill pistol,” but had refused it.
In other instances, the SAS reported that the civilians had been shot dead by Afghan commandos, who often accompanied British soldiers during the raids. However, the RMP examined the bullets found in some of the victims and concluded that they were 5.56mm rounds, which were used by the SAS at the time, but not the Afghan army, which normally used 7.62mm rounds.
Another source told the Times that, at one point, an Afghan commando unit had refused to patrol with the British because of their conduct. An Afghan Special Forces officer also told the newspaper that in 2010 he had seen SAS soldiers planting drugs and guns on a victim who had been “needlessly” shot at a checkpoint.
Sometimes the SAS would order the Afghans to stay outside the building they were raiding, possibly because they had already “decided, rather than capture, they’ll kill.” The RMP investigators reportedly acquired footage of some of the incidents – the so-called ‘kill TV’ – that shows British troops present at a shooting.
Launched in 2014, the RMP investigation has taken on dozens of cases involving alleged killings by British Special Forces. It has become one of the largest inquiries conducted by British military police, with more than 100 detectives involved.
However, the government is now reluctant to carry on with the investigation, as it could potentially lead to numerous courts martial being initiated to prosecute alleged war crimes. A Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday that more than 90 percent of the 675 unlawful killing allegations examined by the RMP had been dropped and fewer than 10 cases are still being examined, the newspaper said.
A senior Whitehall source told the Times that the leadership of the British military consider the RMP investigation into “mass executions” to be “credible and extremely serious.” The source added that the probe is “seen as a potential disaster for the government,” so there have been attempts “to keep it under control by reducing the scale of the investigation.”
If it is “not quite legal” then abandon the law seems to be the system here.
Secondly, however gruesome and savage the terrorising methodology adopted by the jihadists it has only ever been a response to the far greater brutality imposed on them by imperialism and an attempt to counter its far greater firepower.
Every part of it has been entirely learned from the much greater range of genocidal, psychopathic, sadistic and outright inhuman barbarity and vicious repression devised and imposed by imperialism across the planet throughout centuries of colonialism, in 400 coups, invasions and blitzings during the post-war period of imperialist resistance to the de-colonisation movement (see Ian Cobain’s Cruel Britannia book for example), and particularly in the three decades of war and siege against Iraq as once again being demonstrated on Mosul and now Raqqa in Syria.
And even then it is only a part of the spectrum - so far the terrorists have not used the white phosphorus deployed against Fallujah in 2003, and by the Zionists in their nazi-savagery against the Gaza strip for example.
Thirdly, this Nazi-ruthlessness is destined to fail miserably anyway, simply stirring up even greater hatred and anti-Western hostility across the planet, already seething.
As the general warns in the story above, such smiting will not stop the terrorism - an ISIS Mark 2 is virtually certain.
He is right; even if every last jihadist is strung from lampposts (as is happening) the material conditions which have driven ever increasing number of the Middle Eastern and Third World masses into the ranks of the jihadist and insurgent movements can only intensify.
Every rational being knew that from the opening shots of the 2003 war onwards that it would be a recruiting sergeant for revolt.
As imperialist crisis deepens and anger and hatred at this ever cruder Western savagery grows, so will there almost certainly be more anarcho-terrorism at first.
But Mark 2 will almost certainly see rebellion re-emerge at a new and higher level, (not necessarily more arbitrarily ruthless) as ISIS itself was a new level of organised struggle compared to the initial small scale and less fanatical guerrilla war attacks like 9/11 (only by chance having a large impact because of unexpected New York WTC building weaknesses).
The ISIS ideology of the independent Caliphate (which had some historical national-liberation validity, established on territory which was once unified Sunni land prior to its division by the arbitrary boundaries of imperialist World War One colonial land plundering, drawn by the secret 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement) has failed, effectively.
As the EPSR has said in the past, leaderships which emerge for the anti-imperialist struggle will only last for as long as they suffice to make headway, with better and higher philosophy necessarily taking over when and if they falter, and no longer can guide and motivate the struggle.
The same (or another) general declared in a radio interview, that only “rebalancing” the Iraqi economy and society can prevent renewed revolt, taking in the discontents of the 40% Sunni sector, alienated and dispossessed ever since the US occupation was forced to rely for its stooges on the southern Shias (themselves alienated by the gangster thug Saddam Hussein for decades previously).
But that would require billions of dollars to rebuild the several major flattened cities and to establish firm and stable economic conditions, fairly distributed across the sectarian divides in Iraq, as well as compensation, and recompense.
And more importantly it would require history to go backwards away from Slump disaster, and for imperialism’s rapacious exploitation nature to be turned on its head.
It is obviously not going to happen even if such “salve” measures could somehow override the effect of fifteen years of non-stop destruction, torture, massacres and war, in which an entire Middle East generation has been brought up knowing nothing but agony, bereavement and horror, and filled with hatred.
Not a jot of such “hearts and minds” rebuilding has happened over the last 14 years proving, if needed, that imperialism has neither the intention nor the capacity to do it anyway (directly or via its proxy Baghdad stooges).
Nor has it happened anywhere else destroyed by now regular crisis blitzkrieg interventions; Somalia (an early victim) is a devastated mess to this day, the nazi-NATO pulverised mess made of once prosperous Libya remains a scorched earth wasteland of warlordism and infrastructure wreckage; Afghanistan’s “rebuilding” has created a byword for fund siphoning and corrupt practice leaving the greater part of the countryside in primitive conditions now again dominated by the Taliban, and the Yemen is simply being destroyed by the backward feudal Saudi regime’s war (armed and operated by the British) without the question of rebuilding even being raised.
Of course not, because that has never been the point – the point is the warmongering itself and the stampeding of a “kill them all” frenzy to feed the international war atmosphere.
So Mark 2 is virtually guaranteed in whatever form.
At some point, depending on how many times these movements are obliged to work through the appalling mistakes and conflicts that hamper them – particularly the deadly sectarian infighting which has proved so useful to imperialist divide and rule in the past, – something will emerge much closer to the scientific Leninist revolutionary leadership needed for the fight to establish workers states, the only way the world masses will finally get out from under the oppression and exploitation which keeps them permanently in near-slave conditions of exploitation.
And while along what path and how long it takes, can only be speculated on, it is sure that the fake-“left” will not provide any such guidance, or even the vital debate and polemic needed to build it.
It is the retreats and unexamined, uncorrected errors of decades of revisionist pulling back from revolutionary perspectives (and even more mistaken sour anti-communist Trot “anti-Stalinism”) which have left the philosophical vacuum world wide, where the masses have currently turned to (adapted) Islamist militancy.
The sharp lesson from Mosul is in exposing the liberal reformist and “left” cravenness and weasel “theory”, still denouncing this revolt as “reactionary”, and the crassness and confusion that has poured out over the Syrian civil war and on this jihadist revolt further afield, where imperialist skulduggery has muddied the water.
All these “left” groups have twisted and turned in their “theory” about the Middle East and the world revolt, ever since the 9/11 attack and particularly around the apparently confusing Arab Spring, using all kinds of specious conspiracy theory and superficial impressionism in order to avoid having to confront Western stampeded popular opinion and petty bourgeois horror at the ruthlessness and terrorising methodology of the world jihadist rebellion.
But things are relatively straightforward in Iraq; this latest onslaught is obviously a continuation of the of the aggressive and unprovoked US-coalition invasion of Iraq begun in 2003, as Washington’s neocon reaction turned to war blitzing intimidation to escape the oncoming crisis collapse.
Mosul’s eradication is intended – needed (?) – to suppress even more barbarically the continuing and inevitably ever-recurring revolt against the occupation which failed to reestablish a renewed neo-colonial domination then and has continued to flounder ever since.
The Islamic State in Iraq is essentially a national liberation struggle against Western domination, for all its apocalyptic fanaticism, condensed from “blow-back” elements of the sectarian jihadist disruption fomented against Assad in Syria and Iraqi post-Saddam Ba’athist forces.
It is a part of the Sunni triangle anti-occupation fight which immediately erupted in 2003 against the unprovoked and Big Lie “justified” invasion forces.
Just as with the original Iraq war, the only possible line for Marxist understanding is to call for the defeat of this latest US and Western Nazi onslaught, as the EPSR has explained for the past nine months against all the “left” fakery, and as will continue to apply in the long term, despite the suppression of this revolt for the moment by overwhelming firepower.
That does not require any support for or backing of the fanatical religious backwardness of the ISIS and other groups, (as it did not imply supporting Saddam Hussein) nor suggest that its methods are the best way to fight or even can be capable of achieving the mass political consciousness and education needed to overthrow imperialism and, guided by firm working class leadership, take common ownership and control of world resources to establish an international planned socialist system.
Nor does it deny that such religion based anti-imperialist struggle is mostly hostile to a communist path.
So by all means let it be declared that this is not the best leadership for the fight against imperialism and that its sectarian and arbitrary terrorising of hapless populations around it, is often counter-productive.
But that can only be argued, as Lenin wrote a century ago (in his 1906 Guerrilla Warfare - see EPSR issue 1248) if a better perspective and understanding is being offered to take the lead in the anti-imperialist fight, namely the communist struggle to end capitalism.
Otherwise the Leninist position can only be that the multiple arising anti-imperialist struggles are entitled to fight as they see fit.
If they run into conflict and sectarian hostility (from other local peoples etc or induced by their own activity) then these contradictions have to be gone through with those people themselves, to reach a higher level of leadership.
But calling on imperialism for help or aid to suppress this or any other struggle, as assorted local groupings have done in Iraq, like the petty bourgeois nationalist Kurds and as many of the bogus (Western sponsored) “opposition” groups have in Libya and Syria, is pure stoogery.
And offering US imperialism’s forces “cooperation” agreements because “terrorism is the problem” as both the bonapartist Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar Assad have done, is outright stupidity (as well the sheer nonsense of denouncing one set of “religious headbangers” while teaming up with another (the Iranian theocratic state, declared by the Stalinists to be part of an “axis of resistance”)). Any feeding the specious lie that imperialism is carrying out a “war on terror” in order to suppress “evil” is an opportunist abrogation of all revolutionary understanding.
Instead of explaining that this bloodbath, like all the rest of the destruction which has wiped out five whole countries so far, is imposed solely by imperialism because of its crisis need to push the world into ever more hate-filled war and destruction, to escape its great Catastrophe, these frauds and fake-“lefts” give the war drive credibility.
It lets all this capitalist depravity off the hook, whatever token sidewipes are made “opposing” the imperialists or “blaming them for creating ISIS”.
Certainly imperialism “creates” revolt against itself, (as Marx explained in saying it brings about its own gravediggers in producing the proletariat).
And its alienating, antagonistic society is also responsible for all the distortions and gruesome horrors of its class dominated society; including the initial primitive terrorising and suicidal responses of the rebellion against it (which mostly has no other means to fightback, as the permanently oppressed Palestinians do not etc. and who therefore use whatever weapons they can find to push back the nazi-Zionist occupation of their land).
Turning this obvious origin around to declare the terrorism “reactionary”, is petty bourgeois humbug and philosophical dissembling to cover the capitulation of all these groups, desperate to make clear that in the last resort, however righteously they might decry imperialist savagery, they still remain onside.
There is only imperialism, and its crisis, which is reactionary and all the rest is a response to it however confused (and even reactionary) its ideas.
Marxism does not analyse the world in terms of spontaneous ideas guiding reality; it is a materialist philosophy which says the world is real, and ideas however complex in men and women’s heads are a reflection of reality.
It is also a dialectical philosophy which sees the world in terms of processes in constant movement and change, and shifting position relative to other processes and changes.
Woodenly declaring that because a rebellion has been used by or even initiated by imperialism it is therefore always reactionary is nothing to do with Marxism either.
But all these notions underpin the “analysis” of the fake-“left” and particularly in “explaining” the Middle East and the Syrian civil war.
Certainly imperialist skulduggery and manipulation has been rampant and particularly using the Islamic movements, as it did in the 1980s against the Soviet backing for the revolutionary socialist leaning government in Kabul.
But a first point is that the mujahadeen and Taliban are no longer tools of the CIA but the main national-liberation insurgency against the US occupation and its warlord and corrupt stooges. They remain backward in their ideology but real events have shifted everything (and even their conscious understanding is not necessarily as before).
The Iraq and Middle East developments are more complex and worth once more summarising because of the complete (if different) mis-representations of the Trots and revisionists.
Both develop from the unplanned revenge blitzing of Afghanistan, following the US 9/11 humiliation, and invasion of Iraq, planned long in advance of 9/11 as part of the neocon New American Century plotting to re-establish US world dominance.
The American topdog state was faltering badly as the underlying economic crisis was ripening, imperialist rivalry from powers like Germany and Japan grew stronger and the Third World mass discontent was pushed ever closer to open upheaval, initially in anarcho-terrorist outbursts.
But as already described the “shock and awe” produced a huge resistance bogging down this neo-colonialism in ever growing expense and increasing body bag counts.
Divide and rule sectarianism was deliberately inflamed to hold back the Iraq anti-occupation revolt around 2005-7 (using death squad methods imported from El Salvador) but eventually war weariness forced the retreat of at least the direct troop presence.
But imperialism cannot retreat if it is to hold its exploitation tyranny over the world.
Covertly the Obama “peaceful” regime continued the warmongering – with hugely stepped-up drone killings, CIA intervention and subversion.
Things got still worse.
Festering resentment at this and impact of the 2008 crisis, (heavily imposed on the Third World) created a new eruption, the gigantic Tunisian and Egyptian Arab Spring, which was a qualitative leap from the sporadic al-Qaeda type of guerrilla war terrorism into spontaneous mass street revolution.
It was a shattering blow, giant Egypt threatening to tip the entire Middle East out of control.
The upheaval was still hemmed in by Islamic religiosity – its Muslim Brotherhood leadership initially encouraged by a panicked Washington which, as three decades earlier in Iran, would rather see the masses trapped behind a suitably “moderate” figure like Morsi to go along with “democracy” being “granted”, than for a vacuum to remain which might be filled with any communist ideas.
But the nervous rightwing (and Zionism) feared even this minor concession would be too dangerous.
The entire “left” fed the “democratic” illusions which eventually played into the hands of the middle class movement whipped up as yet another CIA pseudo-populist counter-revolution in 2103, which reinstated a pro-Washington and extremely brutal dictatorship under General Sisi.
Meantime the genuine Cairo “spring” had infected masses in the Gulf, Yemen and even Saudi Arabia etc where anti-feudal anti-Western revolt stirred.
Supposed extensions into both Libya and Syria, both entirely bogus, were provoked and inflamed by Western skulduggery and media deluges (not known previously for their mass revolutionary principles) in an attempt to head off spreading mass revolt.
Libya and Syria, for all their flaky bourgeois nationalist character, had some anti-imperialist form and were on the Pentagon “rogue state” target lists; they were also on the border with Egyptian revolt and likely overall to add to its impact (despite Gaddafi’s own confusions).
Civil war there would “contain” Egypt it was hoped, and so a host of half-baked opposition forces and anti-regime “sleepers” were stirred into a pseudo-rebellion by the CIA etc, their reactionary character obvious from day one (monarchic flags in Libya eg) to all but Trotskyist superficial philistinism anyway. As always the Trots were taken in by any tiny “street movement” that the west stirs up against particularly workers states (whose “totalitarian” proletarian discipline they hate) or even, as here, demonised erratic anti-imperialism.
The hollow stunt failed dismally in Libya making a full-blown NATO invasion necessary under the lying pretext of “saving Benghazi from a massacre” (long admitted to be a fantasy).
“Liberal” Obama-ism hung back from this outright warmongering, pretending it was “led by Europe” despite providing at least 60% of the forces.
The subversive provocations (hidden snipers etc) worked in Syria, tapping the Sunni sectarianism spilling over from Iraq, and recruiting a host of vicious “rebel” groups trained and armed by Washington and Zionism (directly and via the Gulf states) to carry out the foulest of terrorising and ethnic cleansing atrocities against the Assad bourgeois nationalist regime, stirring state response to create a spiral of bitter hatreds.
But in the deepening conditions of crisis many of these groups soon “blew back”, becoming the ISIS, hostile to the West (as well as to Assad) and in armed conflict with other pro-West “jihadist” groups.
The on-the-make stoogery of these latter is easily spotted by constant calls for Western blitzkrieg intervention, (in the Middle East!!!), hate-filled propaganda lies against Assad (a long time hate target for the US because of its halfway house anti-imperialist anti-Zionist posturing, and for decades on its Pentagon “to do” list of "rogue states" for suppression and invasion), the increasingly well documented nature of their tie-ups with Western arms, CIA-run training camps in Jordan (another stooge) etc – as emerge in stories from liberal journalists like John Pilger or Wikileaks – and in many cases their direct set-up by Hilary Clinton’s State Department in the first place, as “moderate terrorists”!!!!!!
As all this unfolded the “left”s have floundered badly, all of them failing completely to see the clear differences between attempted manipulated “jihadist” stoogery in assorted “Free Syria” coalitions and the anti-imperialism increasingly on the boil in the worldwide revolt.
The Trots are in a deep mess, their shallow dilettantism having declared this all a “peoples’ revolution” initially but then hastily withdrawing when its obvious jihadist character emerged and sometimes spilled over into Western attacks, so that “condemn terror” needs prevailed – their “pure” revolution fantasies meanwhile failing to find a scrap of supposed Trotskyist revolt running according to their middle-class prescriptions of how capitalism is overturned.
Since they fail to put everything in a real world context of imperialist crisis breakdown and the revolutionary turmoil it is leading to, they cannot see that the rough confused and contradictory upheaval on the ground, is precisely the breakdown of the capitalist order, and write it all off (conveniently).
The revisionists’ find an even more disastrously confused route to also line up with imperialism under cover of opposing it; this time correctly enough standing against the imperialist victimisation of the “rogue state” of Syria.
But courtesy of their step-by-step revisionist world view (built on Stalin’s mistaken post-war view of an imperialism forever hamstrung and unable to expand and therefore of just needing to be “contained” by peace struggle as the world steadily moved towards socialism), in which a “less bad” regime or movement is woodenly considered an “advance” and therefore to be 100% supported, they declare the flaky Assad to be a heroic leader to be backed and cheered on (just as they supported the Saddam regime or the opportunist revisionist nationalist Slobodan Milosevic).
This has nothing to do with Leninist understanding which is only for defeat of imperialist skulduggery while warning the proletarian masses to have no faith whatsoever in this flaky bourgeois nationalist opportunism.
Worse, its hopeless undialectical mechanism leaves them denouncing every aspect of the anti-Assad upheaval, all written off as “terrorism”, which is then extended to denounce all “terrorism” (with its shallow conspiracy theory “mercenary tool” origins thrown in for good measure).
But this brings a cascade of difficulties and glaring contradictions, beginning with the need to rehabilitate the Russian counter-revolution, in order to stay on side with Putin’s hopeless and idiot apeing of the West and its “war on terror”.
Rather than grasp Putin’s Bonapartism, in which the now restored capitalist state still has to balance between two roughly equal class forces, the historical legacy of Sovietism and the new gangster oligarchs, this requires a long rigmarole to prove”(!!) that Russia is “not really”(!) an oligarch counter-revolution at all but a new kind of “bourgeois nationalism” (which continues to be owned by and pander to billionaire oligarchs) which mysteriously has become anti-imperialist.
No need for any Marxist grasp here then of workers states or capitalism - you simply have your cake and eat it.
This philosophical gymnastics allows reality to be stood on its head and the rest to be bent around to absurdity.
All jihadism is now declared to be driven by a “vile reactionary ideology” to quote the Lalkar/Proletarian on which the destruction of Libya and Syria are to be blamed, the imperialists and their crisis warmongering virtually disappearing from view.
And with that established, the revolt elsewhere is also condemned – including for example the Sinai rebels, (allies of the Hamas-led Palestinians), who have been fighting Zionism and mounting numerous attacks on the reestablished reactionary Cairo regime.
Whose side does Proletarian fall - why the side suppressing the Sinai rebellion!!! Sisi!!
But that creates further problems since that Cairo government (with lavish Washington subventions) is also allied with Zionism and besieging the Palestinian Gaza strip – whose anti-Zionist resistance the Brarites continue to posture about supporting.
Meanwhile the horrifying flattening of Raqqa is in train, just like Mosul, with the fake - “left” of all shades, failing to do anything to stop it, however much hand wringing they engage in.
And beyond that lies destruction of much more of the planet, for as long as capitalism’s plunge into World War Three remains unchallenged.
Only behind a renewed Leninist revolutionary understanding can the world find a way through this carnage to build a rational and planned socialist world.
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